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Jefferson City School District reaches settlement in discrimination lawsuit

by Anna Campbell | March 16, 2023 at 4:02 a.m.

The Jefferson City School District and a former physical therapist's assistant have reached a settlement.

Denise Rackers sued the district in 2019, saying she had resigned after experiencing discrimination and retaliation because of her disability, a neurological disorder. She said her supervisor told others about her diagnosis without permission and made fun of her for taking leave.

The district said at the time that it intended to "aggressively defend" its side during the legal process.

The case was resolved in February when Rackers and the district signed a settlement agreement and general release, which the News Tribune obtained through a sunshine request.

Per the agreement, the district must pay, or cause to be paid through insurance, a total of $35,000, of which $19,130.11 goes to Rackers and $15,869.89 goes to Rackers' attorney, TGH Litigation.

The settlement was paid by the district.

The agreement also states the district will pay, or cause to be paid through insurance, any fees charged to Rackers by Neuner Mediation and Dispute Resolution for the Jan. 10 mediation of the lawsuit.

The lawsuit was signed by the district on Feb. 9, and payment was due within 30 days. Following the payment, Rackers must file to dismiss the lawsuit with prejudice, meaning the case cannot be refiled.

Each party will pay its own attorney's fees and costs.

Rackers is barred from seeking employment at the district in the future.

According to the document, the settlement represents a compromise and does not reflect an admission of liability. The settlement states the parties will not discuss the agreement except as required by law.

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